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Published on November 21st, 2013 | by Hypnodream

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IEM Cologne 2013 Preview

On Saturday November 23rd, ten teams from the North American and European scenes will take to the rift for a chance to be crowned IEM Cologne 2013 champions. Six teams, consisting of two NA LCS teams, two EU LCS teams, one Turkish qualifier, and one CIS qualifier, will battle in the Pro Tournament for an $18,500 first place slice of the $50,000 prize pool. This weekend will also feature an Amateur Tournament consisting of one EU LCS relegation team and three EU qualifiers with a $30,000 prize pool. Champions of this installment of the Intel Extreme Masters series will be crowned the very next day on the 24th, ensuring an intense and action-packed weekend to come. This will be the first live international tournament for the North American and European squads since the Season 3 World Championship, and will be a test for old name teams and new challengers alike as a majority of them have undergone significant roster changes since their last competitive showing.

PRO TOURNAMENT

TOURNAMENT STRUCTURE

A total of six teams will participate in the Pro Tournament. Matches will start off in quarterfinals, with Cloud 9 and Fnatic each receiving “byes” into the semifinals because they received the highest number of votes in their respective regional polls. These polls were held in order to determine the two LCS teams from each region that would participate in the tournament. Counter Logic Gaming and Gambit Gaming each earned second in their own region’s polls and, though this secured them their spot in Cologne, will have to play through the quarterfinals as a result. CLG and Gambit will face off against two relatively unknown teams (Team Turquality Blue and The RED) coming out of the Turkish and CIS qualifiers respectively. The tournament will be single elimination and all matches, both Pro and Amateur, will be a best of three series.

THE TEAMS

CLOUD 9

Roster: An “Balls” Le (Top), William “Meteos” Hartman (Jungle), Hai “Hai” Lam (Mid), Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi (AD Carry), Daerek “LemonNation” Hart (Support)

The reigning NA LCS Summer Split champions and World Championship quarterfinalists, Cloud 9 is a formidable contender at any level of competition. The team has already received a bye into the semifinals and is doubtless looking forward to the possibility of revenge against Fnatic for their loss to them at Worlds should both teams make it to the finals at Cologne. While Cloud 9 has dominated the NA scene since they qualified for the LCS during the summer split, finishing the regular season with an impressive 25-3 record, their only international experience thus far has been a disappointing 1-2 loss to Fnatic at the Season 3 World Championships. The North American squad will face the winner of the Gambit vs. The RED match guaranteeing them an opportunity to prove themselves against an international team once again.

It is worth noting, particularly in light of other teams participating in this tournament, that Cloud 9’s roster has not undergone any changes since the world championships. The team consisting of Balls, Meteos, Hai, Sneaky, and LemonNation that qualified for the NA LCS summer split is the same one playing at Cologne, which may prove to be a considerable advantage over some of the other teams competing. Fnatic, Gambit, and CLG have all replaced one or more members since their last competitive performance. While these other teams will use Cologne as a test run of something new, Cloud 9 has the benefit of a tried and true team.

It will be interesting to see what adaptations, if any, Cloud 9 have made during the off season. Meteos’ controversial farm-oriented jungling style, core to Cloud 9’s success, proved almost unbeatable in the NA scene but was unable to clinch a victory against Fnatic at worlds. This style of jungling only tends to work when Meteos’ lanes are winning on their own and withstanding the enemy jungler’s pressure. If the lanes manage to at least hold even, Meteos shows up to a team fight with as much farm as the enemy solo laners, often resulting in a won fight plus an objective for the team, and allows Cloud 9 to snowball the game from there through crisp rotations and decisive shot-calling. With just three international games against Fnatic for reference, it is difficult to say one way or the other how effective Meteos’ style will be against non-NA teams. The question remains as to whether Cloud 9 will stick to their guns for this tournament and focus on improving their laning, or whether Meteos will modify his style to include more gank pressure at the cost of farm.

FNATIC

Roster: Paul “sOAZ” Boyer (Top), Lauri “Cyanide” Happonen (Jungle), Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez (Mid), Martin “Rekkles” Larsson (AD Carry), Bora “YellOwStaR” Kim (Support)

As the only western team to have made it to the semifinals of the Season 3 World Championships, Fnatic enters this tournament as one of the clear favorites. Like Cloud 9, Fnatic has been seeded into semifinals for getting first in their regional poll and will await the winner of the quarterfinal match between North America’s Counter Logic Gaming and Turkish qualifier Turquality Blue. The European squad will look to continue their recent success, having won first place at both the spring and summer EU LCS playoffs as well as coming in 3rd-4th place at worlds.

Unlike Cloud 9, Fnatic has changed its roster since the world championship. This tournament will be a chance for AD Carry Martin “Rekkles” Larsson to prove himself after having recently replaced Puszu in the team’s lineup and test the synergy of the team as a whole. While it is true that Rekkles had previously played with Fnatic before LCS age requirements prevented him from participating, meaning that team synergy does not need to be built from scratch, his previous experience with the team was with nRated as his support, making this is the first time for at least the bot lane synergy between him and Yellowstar to be tested. That being said, Rekkles had an impressive performance with Fnatic at Dreamhack Winter 2012 and played a big role in their victory over then CLG EU (now EG). He has also had experience playing against top tier international teams such as World Elite at IPL5 as well as then SK Telecom T1 at last year’s IEM Cologne, and is no stranger to the pressure and atmosphere that accompanies this level of competition.

In addition to the bot lane, Fnatic will also rely on Xpeke and Soaz to carry them through their individual skirmishing ability and outstanding team fight positioning. With Fnatic’s unorthodox pick strategies and aggressive play making, it is crucial for these two to be on point or else the chaos that their aggression creates can get turned against them. Considered to be the near the top, or even at the top, of their respective roles within their region, Fnatics success often comes down to the amazing plays the two can pull off. While fans can always count on Cyanide to be a solid jungler and reliable initiator, Xpeke and Soaz generally outplay to help Fnatic come out on ahead. This weekend will show whether the addition of Rekkles changes the team’s mentality in terms of how much they can rely on him to carry. Rekkles individual mechanics might lend themselves to compositions geared towards more peel for him, rather than the pure dive out of the type of Lissandra and Kassadin style comps that Fnatic favors. This would add another dimension to Fnatic’s play and make them even more flexible and unpredictable.

COUNTER LOGIC GAMING

Roster: Zach “Nientonsoh” Malhas (Top), Brian “TrickZ” Ahn, Austin “LiNk” Shin (Mid), Peter “Doublelift” Peng (AD Carry), Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black (Support)

After getting second place in their regional poll, CLG will be one of the two teams to represent North America at Cologne, giving them a chance to show what they have been working on during the offseason. No strangers to roster changes, the team will field a different jungler and support than they had during the summer LCS split. This tournament will be a valuable opportunity for CLG to test their new lineup at an international level in preparation for the 2014 season. Though Aphromoo has experience playing with the team from his time as support during the spring LCS split, this will be the first time TrickZ plays with the squad at a competitive level.

Though the term has become somewhat of a joke within the league community, CLG lineups are often said to have a great deal of “potential”. Historically, most of their gameplay and team compositions have revolved around Doublelift, widely considered to be the best AD Carry in North America with world-class mechanics. While teams like Fnatic and Gambit will focus their team fights on their top/mid and jungle/mid synergies respectively, CLG generally favors running a “protect the Doublelift” composition where the focus is on peel and shields for their AD Carry. While players like Alex Ich and xPeke are generally leading the team in fights through picks or burst initiation, LiNk will use champions like Orianna for their counter-initiate potential and the utility they afford the team, especially Doublelift, in terms of movement speed and shields. While a “protect the AD Carry” strategy can be used effectively, most notably by China’s Royal’s Uzi-centered compositions, it can become very predictable and one dimensional. CLG in particular suffers from the lack of individual playmaking and quick decision making in lanes that allow teams like Royal to succeed with this style. While the general mindset of Royal will be to protect Uzi, players like Wh1t3zZ and Tabe are constantly looking for openings for aggression in lane and the team as a whole transfers that into aggressive decision making in the late game. CLG, on other hand, will often play reactively and rely on their peel and kite to let Doublelift make the most of his mechanical skill. This often makes it easy for other teams to start fights on favorable terms by catching members of CLG out of position.

CLG will face off against Turkish qualifier Turquality Blue in the quarterfinals with the winner advancing to a semifinal match against Fnatic. Only time will tell whether the addition of a new jungler, a position so critical in controlling the early flow of the game, will affect their decisions in lane and whether the new roster will come to Cologne with something other than “protect the Doublelift” up their sleeve.

GAMBIT GAMING

Roster: Evgeny “Darien” Mazaev (Top), Danil “Diamondprox” Reshetnikov (Jungle), Alexey “Alex Ich” Ichetovkin (Mid), Evgeny “Genja” Andryushin (AD Carry), Edward “Edward” Abgaryan (Support)

After an impressive run at the Season 3 World Championships, going 5-3 in their group and edging out Korean team Samsung Galaxy Ozone for a spot in the quarterfinals, Gambit Gaming enter the tournament ready to make a statement and eager to reclaim their title as IEM masters. With EU all-star support Edward returning to the team after a brief stint in North America, expectations are high for the Russian powerhouse coming into Cologne. As a result of receiving the second highest votes in their regional poll, Gambit have been seeded into the quarterfinals and will have to defeat fellow Russian team The RED for a chance to play North America’s Cloud 9 in the semifinals.

The return of Edward will undoubtedly be the main factor to watch this weekend as it will be the first time the original Moscow 5 members will play together since the end of the spring LCS split. While Gambit were certainly not a failure without Edward’s aggressive and play-making style in the bottom lane, having earned a spot at Worlds without him, his absence has led to a couple of roster changes and a lack of synergy in the team as a whole as they attempted to fill his place. In a team like Gambit that depends on good tempo to decisively close out games, the lack of a reliable initiator and play maker in the support role really handicapped their aggressive team fighting. While Diamondprox and Alex Ich have always been the ones setting the pace of the game and looking for openings, Edward’s presence is crucial in following up immediately and ensuring full commitment to a dive or initiate. The common phrase to describe Gambit’s play is “give them a finger and they’ll take an arm” and without Edward they were often unable to seize the initial “finger” and looked lost and confused with nothing to hold on to. If the supposed “problems” that were present between Genja and Edward in the past have indeed been fixed, Gambit looks to be fearsome contender for this tournament and the 2014 season to come.

THE RED

Roster: Ivan “FIRees” Selentiev (Top), Dmitrii “DimaJke” Gusha (Jungle), Anton “Fomko” Fomkin (Mid), Valentin “NikSar” Zimakov (AD Carry), Dmitrii “Dimonko” Korovushkin (Support)

Though relatively unknown at the international level, The RED are no strangers to high-pressure competitive matches. In addition to winning the CIS qualifier to secure a spot in Cologne, the team will also represent Russia at the World Cyber Games in China in just a few short weeks. After defeating Russian team White Horse 2:0 in the national final for their spot in WCG after a 32-team single elimination tournament, The RED clearly stand out as one of the strongest teams in Russia. As luck would have it, however, they will face fellow Russian squad Gambit Gaming, unquestionably the top team in the country, in a best of three series for a chance to advance to the semifinals. While The RED will come in to that match as undisputed underdogs, they may have something prepared that could surprise Gambit and knock them out of the tournament. In a single elimination tournament and best of three series, an innovative strategy can clinch an early win and give The RED a real shot at taking out their countrymen.

The small amount of information that is available about the team may actually play in their favor. Catching Gambit by surprise, and forcing them to play reactively rather than on their own terms, will be the key to defeating them. Certain teams, such as Fnatic, can easily play reactively and are skilled at turning the flow of the game in their favor, through counter-initiates or picks, simply by waiting for the right moment. Gambit, on the other hand, needs to secure early control of the game. Once they gain any sort of advantage over their opponent they will almost never let it slip, and the unrelenting pressure they apply results in quick and overwhelming victories. If they fail to get ahead, however, and especially if a few early kills or skirmishes don’t go their way, they tend to fall apart. If The RED hopes to advance in this tournament, they will need to capitalize on this weakness.

Despite their limited experience at the international level, there are a couple of things to note about their compositions  The first is that they have been running Lucian in the bot lane, generally paired with a Fiddlesticks support, for the tower siege potential that the two bring. Lucian has received a lot of attention recently worldwide and currently has a 100% pick/ban rate in the Korean OGN. The RED’s willingness to run him instead of falling back on older and more comfortable picks shows an awareness of the shift in the meta-game and a commitment to keep up with it. The other, and one that may surprise teams at the tournament, is that they like to run Quinn in mid. Their midlaner, Fomko, recently ran an armor-pen based skirmish/split-pushing Quinn for the team’s 2:0 victory over Dignitas UK in the WePlay Invitational. She is also his most played champion in solo queue with close to 200 games played. Even though Gambit and the other teams at the tournament will have done their research and likely see it coming, this forces them to either use one of their three bans on a champion not generally thought to be ban-worthy, or deal with a  champion that they likely are not used to playing against very often.

TEAM TURQUALITY BLUE

Roster: Berke “Thaldrin” Demir (Top), Muhammed “Theokoles” Işik (Jungle), Ahmet “am3t” Mungan, Arda “KillerEs” Subaşi (AD Carry), Coşkun “Tyresse” Eren (Support)

Following a successful run through the Turkish qualifier that led to a semifinal team-kill between sister teams Turquality Blue and Turquality Red, Turquality Blue ultimately defeated HWA Gaming 2-0 in a best of three final for first place and a ticket to Cologne. They have been seeded into the quarterfinals and will play Counter Logic Gaming for a chance to advance to a semifinal match against Fnatic.

Although they are often among the top teams in Turkey, achieving 3rd place at both the winter and spring Riot Turkey season tournaments, it is a bit surprising that they qualified over Turkish powerhouse Dark Passage who placed first during the winter, spring, summer and national tournaments this past year, as well as participating in the Wildcard tournament for Worlds. Turquality Blue, eager to prove that they deserve to represent their country at Cologne, will face a strong rival in Counter Logic Gaming in what is sure to be an exciting series. As in the case of The RED, Turquality Blue might benefit from having more information on their opponents than the other way around. Though the addition of TrickZ to their roster might result in a completely transformed CLG, in all likelihood their style will remain similar to what it has been in the past, and Turquality will paint a giant target over Doublelift’s head in an attempt to shut him down. As with most CLG matches, this will either be extremely effective at instantly blowing him up before he has a chance to do any real damage, or it will result in highlight clips of Doublelift kiting groups of enemies desperate to kill him. Defeating a team as well-established and respected as CLG would greatly benefit the Turquality image as well as Turkey’s League of Legends scene as a whole.

AMATEUR TOURNAMENT

TOURNAMENT STRUCTURE

The Amateur tournament will consist of four teams all seeded directly into the semifinals. Ninjas in Pyjamas will take on TCM in one semifinal, and SK Gaming will face Copenhagen Wolves in the other. The winners of these two matches will meet in the finals and the losers will be out of the tournament entirely. Like the pro tournament, all matches will be a best of three series.

THE TEAMS

NINJAS IN PYJAMAS

Roster: Morten “Zorozero” Rosenquist (Top), John “hyrqBot” Velly (Jungle), Erlend “Nukeduck” Holm (Mid), Aleš “Freeze” Kněžínek (AD Carry), Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez (Support)

Due to their 6th place finish at the EU LCS Summer Playoffs, NiP is one of the three teams facing the possibility of relegation in the upcoming promotion tournament. This made them eligible to participate in the “Amateur Tournament” taking place at Cologne, and they were seeded straight into the tournament after receiving the majority of fan votes in the European tri-team poll (SK and MYM being the other two options). NiP will face off against TCM in their first match of the tournament fielding a vastly different lineup than they had during the summer LCS split,.

Along with SK Gaming, NiP is the team that has experienced the most drastic roster changes coming into this tournament. Their AD Carry, Freeze, is the only member left from the Bjergsen-led team that competed in the LCS just a few short months ago.  The addition of former Lemondogs members Zorozero, Nukeduck, and Mithy, as well as former SK Gaming jungler hyrqBot, makes NiP a particularly strong team on paper. Lemondogs led the EU scene during the summer LCS split and came in second to Fnatic during the playoffs, and hyrqBot has always been considered a highly skilled jungler despite SK Gaming’s relatively poor performance. Mithy’s skillshot precision and strategic vision combined with Freeze’s mechanical skill and aggression make NiP threatening across all lanes, and the time the three Lemondogs members have spent playing together in the past should limit the problems newly formed teams often experience because of a lack of synergy. This tournament will be a good test run for the new roster as they prepare to defend their spot in the promotion tournament, particularly since their first opponent, TCM, is one of the teams already qualified. While NiP fans may have been sorry to see their star midlaner Bjergsen depart for North America’s TSM, Nukeduck and crew will look to come out in force, and show that the new NiP roster is stronger than ever by claiming first place at Cologne.

SK GAMING

Roster: Simon “fredy122” Payne (Top), Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen (Jungle), Jesse “Jesiz” Le (Mid), Adrian “Candy Panda” Wubbelmann (AD Carry), Patrick “Nyph” Funke (Support)

SK Gaming received second place in the EU poll and was forced to play through the cross-realm qualifier to go to Cologne. After their opponent forfeited in the first round, SK defeated Millenium 2-0 in round two of the qualifier to secure their spot in the tournament along with Copenhagen Wolves and TCM. Much like NiP, SK will be showing off their new roster in Cologne after replacing three of their members, and hoping to make a statement for the promotion tournament to come. Their first match will be a best of three against Copenhagen Wolves who, like TCM, have secured a spot in the promotion tournament after their victory at Gamescom 2013.

Even though SK Gaming replaced three members compared to NiP’s four, the change arguably carries a bigger impact. The team synergy that the three members of Lemondogs carried over to their new team is not present in SK’s new lineup aside from Candy Panda and Nyph’s bot lane. The departure of Ocelote, former mid-laner for the team and a personality in the community, may also prove difficult to adjust to. Ocelote’s individual skills were often criticized, especially in comparison to the extremely high skill of other European mid-laners like xPeke, Alex Ich, and  Froggen, but there is no question that he brought leadership and passion to the team that they may struggle to find with their new roster. It will be up to Candy Panda and Nyph to use their history and synergy to bring the rest of the team together and Cologne will be the first step in establishing the new lineup as a real threat for the upcoming LCS split.

New mid-laner Jesiz will be in the spotlight at Cologne given the enormous pressure and competition he will face if the team qualifies for the 2014 season. As a newcomer to the professional scene, this tournament will be Jesiz first LAN experience and expectations are high for a player that may have to lane against the likes of Alex Ich, Froggen, xPeke, and Nukeduck in the LCS in the near future. This will also be a good opportunity for the all-important jungle-mid synergy between him and Svenskeren to be tested in a high pressure situation. While Svenskeren is an LCS veteran who has been around the professional scene for some time now, jungling with two new solo laners will also put his jungle-control and early game decision making to the test. With the possibility of facing Copenhagen Wolves in the promotion tournament later on this year, all members of SK Gaming undoubtedly want to make a statement with a decisive victory in their first match of the tournament.

COPENHAGEN WOLVES

Roster: Joey “YoungBuck” Steltenpool (Top), Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider (Jungle), Viktor “cowTard” Stymne (Mid), Konstantinous “Forg1ven” Tzortziou (AD Carry), Petar “Unlimited” Georgiev (Support)

Copenhagen Wolves are one of the two non-LCS teams participating in the Amateur tournament. A second place finish at the EU NE qualifier earned them a spot in the final Crossrealm Qualifier, where they defeated LCS team Meet Your Makers for a seed into the semifinals at Cologne. After experiencing some roster changes themselves, notably losing AD Carry Rekkles in his transition to Fnatic as well as losing their jungler, the team will need to come out strong with their new lineup for a chance to win their first match against SK Gaming.

Fortunately for the Wolves, they have already had several opportunities to compete with this roster and have achieved excellent results thus far. The team earned first place at the Paris Games 2013 and Riot Turkey’s International Invitational Tournament with 3-0 victories in the finals at both events. While NiP and SK will likely prove to be more difficult opponents to defeat than the ones they faced in those tournaments, the team cohesion and experience they have gained will prove invaluable for CW to come out ahead in a group of teams with so many recent roster changes. Forg1ven in particular will have big shoes to fill in trying to create the same pressure that Rekkles created for them in the past through mechanical prowess and superb last hitting. Having an AD Carry who consistently outfarms his opponent, like Rekkles did so often, gives other areas of the map room to make plays and apply pressure.

With a spot secured in the upcoming promotion tournament, this match will be a good trial-run for the Wolves and, should they make it that far, could be a possible preview of their qualifying match for the next LCS split given that SK Gaming is one of the three teams facing the risk of relegation.

TCM-Gaming

Roster: Jesper “Jwaow” Strandgren (Top), Ramón “Naruterador” Mesguer Fructuoso (Jungle), Scott “Belgianbeast” Dudha (Mid), Mario “Motroco” Martínez Garcia (AD Carry), Laurent “BarneyD” Baiverlin (Support)

Along with Copenhagen Wolves, TCM are one of two non-LCS teams participating in the amateur tournament. A 1-0 victory over Millenium at the EUW qualifier allowed them to enter the combined EU Crossrealm Qualifier for a chance to compete in Cologne. The team got knocked out of the winner’s bracket early on in the first round after losing 0-1 to the Wolves, but managed to fight their way through the losers bracket and ultimately defeat H2k 2-1 for the last available spot. Much like CW, TCM’s first match will be against a team that they may meet later on in the promotion tournament as they attempt to qualify for the next LCS season. This best of three series against Ninjas in Pyjamas will determine which team advances to the final to face the winner of the CW vs. SK match.

The strength of TCM coming into this tournament lies primarily in the stability of their roster. Unlike their opponents, TCM have not made significant roster changes very recently and have been actively participating in a host of challenger-level tournaments. While members of NiP may have taken some time off after the world championship, TCM have competed in the EUW Challenger Series as well as other invitationals. This has forced them to keep practicing and avoid the transition period that faced NiP in the wake of their roster changes and time off after worlds. The former Lemondogs members only recently had to worry about relegation and may be more focused on the upcoming promotion tournament. While the sheer level of individual talent on NiP makes this an extremely difficult match for TCM, with proper preparation and strategies they may be able to capitalize on their opponent’s recent changes and catch them off-guard to advance to the finals.

PREDICTIONS

Pro Tournament Winners: Fnatic

Despite their recent AD Carry change, Fnatic’s success at Worlds and their remarkable ability to play games from both a winning and losing position makes them the team to beat at this tournament. Rekkles has proven himself to be a talented player in the past, and his history with the team should make the transition relatively painless. While flawless play from CLG could potentially upset the European squad in the semifinals, Fnatic should be able to easily handle either team that comes out of the quarterfinal match between CLG and Turquality Blue, and move on to the final. Once there, they will most likely face Cloud 9 or Gambit. Edward’s return may turn out to be the key for Gambit to finally take a game off Fnatic (a feat they haven’t been able to accomplish since the finals of the LCS Spring Playoffs), but in a best of three series Fnatic’s confidence and their ability to completely shut down Gambit’s playstyle should secure them a win. Meeting Cloud 9 in the finals will undoubtedly pose the biggest threat. The North American team will be eager for revenge and has had more time to prepare specific strategies for Fnatic than they did at worlds. However, while we can expect that Xpeke won’t be allowed to play  Kassadin and that Lemonnation will not build a Mana Manipulator,  Fnatic’s lanes seem to edge out Cloud 9′s across the board. Should the two meet in what is sure to be an incredibly close and action-packed final, almost certainly going to the third match, Fnatic is in a slightly better position to take the victory.

Amateur Tournament Winners: Ninjas in Pyjamas

The massive roster changes for both NiP and SK Gaming make this tournament particularly hard to predict. The potential lack of synergy in both teams could easily open the way for TCM or CW to take it, and solid preparation and strategies from any of the four teams participating could completely dominate the field. That being said, the sheer amount of individual talent in the NiP roster will make it difficult to defeat them. In a so-called “amateur” tournament, the team’s lineup consists of  three members that qualified for the Season 3 World Championship when they were on Lemondogs, as well as top-notch LCS players in hyqBot and Freeze. While innovative compositions and strategies from their opponents can certainly beat them, this new NiP roster, simply from the strength of their players, is in a good position to claim first place at the Cologne and boost their confidence for the coming promotion tournament.

CONCLUSION

With such a diverse and talented pool of teams, both the pro and amateur tournaments are certain to be thrilling events to watch. The very real possibility of a Cloud 9 and Fnatic rematch alone makes this a must see tournament for fans of both the NA and EU League of Legends scenes. The return of Edward to Gambit and what will, hopefully, be a new and improved CLG, are sure to bring phenomenal matches right out of the gate with underdogs The RED and Turquality Blue looking to knock out the two world-renown LCS teams earlier than expected. The opportunity to see all these new rosters in action, particularly on the “amateur” side with the upcoming Season 4 Promotion Tournament, is simply too good to pass up. NiP, SK Gaming, CW, and TCM will all soon be fighting for a spot in the European LCS and these matches will be valuable preparation for that tournament, where the stakes will be even higher. Be sure to tune in this weekend for non-stop League of Legends action as these  teams battle it out for the IEM Cologne 2013 title.


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